THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Despite all odds, Sarasamma, a 90-year-old woman appeared for the Class IV equivalency examination at Thrikkannapuram government school on Sunday as part of Aksharasree project conducted by Kerala State Literacy Mission (KSLM) in association with Thiruvananthapuram city corporation.
Sarasamma was the oldest among 2,235 candidates who wrote the exam at 113 centres in the city. She is an inmate of Swapnakoodu Abhaya Rescue Centre at Kunnapuzha near Thrikkannapuram. Sarasamma who always yearned to study and gain knowledge had to give up her dream to shoulder family responsibilities.
She resumed her studies under the Kerala State Literacy Mission at an advanced age. KSLM director P S Sreekala said Sarasamma was the oldest ‘equivalency learner’ in the mission. Even at this age, she has a sharp memory and has no problems with her eyesight, said a spokesperson of literacy mission. The youngest among the candidates who wrote the exam was 19-year-old Tasleema. She wrote the exam at Perumthanni.
The Class IV equivalency exams test knowledge in four subjects such as Malayalam, ‘Nammalum Namukku Chuttum’, English and Mathematics. While the maximum marks awarded for English are 50, the other three subjects are assessed for 75 marks, amounting the total to 275 marks. The minimum pass cut-off is 15 for English and 30 for other subjects. V K Prasanth, MLA visited the exam centres at Vattiyoorkavu and Kazhakootam constituencies.
Aksharasree is a free literacy project being rolled out by the Kerala State Literacy Mission at 100 wards within the city corporation.
A total of 2,747 candidates have already written various examinations under the programme.